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Remote Sense with NI DC Power Supplies and SMUs

Updated Mar 27, 2019

Reported In


  • PXI Source Measure Unit
  • PXI Programmable Power Supply
  • PXI-4130
  • PXIe-4138
  • PXIe-4139
  • PXIe-4136
  • PXIe-4137
  • PXIe-4154
  • PXIe-4162
  • PXIe-4163
  • PXIe-4141
  • PXIe-4143
  • PXI-4110
  • PXIe-4112
  • PXIe-4113
  • PXI-4132
  • PXIe-4145
  • PXIe-4142


  • LabVIEW


  • NI-DCPower

Issue Details

What is the remote sense functionality and what NI power supplies and SMUs have this capability?


Remote sense is a measurement technique which compensates for measurement inaccuracies caused by lead loss. Remote sense configuration requires 4-wire connections from the power supply to the DUT in which one set of leads carries the output current, while another set of high input impedance leads is used to measure voltage directly at the DUT terminals. The power supply will maintain the desired output voltage at the sense leads by increasing the voltage at the output to compensate for voltage drops due to lead resistance. The physical connection is illustrated below.


Table below shows devices and channels which have remote sense capability.

Power Supply / SMURemote Sense Capability
PXIe-4112 / 4113Channel 0 -1
PXIe-4130Channel 1
PXIe-4132Channel 0
PXIe-4136 / 4137 / 4138 / 4139Channel 0
PXIe-4140 / 4141 / 4142 / 4143 / 4145Channel 0-3
PXIe-4154Channel 0-1
PXIe-4162Channel 0-11
PXIe-4163Channel 0-23

Additional Information

Remote sense can be enabled or disabled using the niDCPower Configure Sense VI on a per output basis for channels that support this feature.

If remote sense is not available, the following options can be used to compensate for the resistance loss:

  • Use a DMM such as the PXI-407x to directly measure the load voltage and adjust the supply voltage accordingly in your application.
  • The voltage drop across the leads can be manually accounted for using the Local Sense Error equation described in the Local Sense - NI DC Power Supplies and SMUs help.